It’s All Grace and It’s All God’s Money

When on vacation in Malta, I was rereading Ann Voskamp’s “1,000 Gifts”. It is one of my lifelong all-time favorite books.  One of my favorite parts is how she deeply ponders, if people who are spared by tragedy can proclaim “It’s only by God’s grace that ____”, then what do people who face deep tragedy have to say? Does it no longer become God’s grace??

She comes to the conclusion throughout her book that IT IS ALL GRACE. Every moment we have on this earth is a gift (Hence “1,000 Gifts). Every dollar. Every morsel of food. Every friend. Every tear. Every great day. Every terrible day. IT IS ONLY BY GOD’S GRACE that we even exist in the first time. This is a life undeserved, regardless of the joys or trials we are born into or gain along the way.

So, if it is all grace, then aren’t all the finances and resources that we have all grace from God as well? My money is not my own; it all comes from God and belongs to Him. I am only a steward. So, I am sitting here pondering Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and oh, darn, now it is Wednesday, and my holiday and year-end list is already a mile-long. And I’ve bought nothing thus far…but perhaps that is okay, because I was most interested in buying for myself anyway.

Since becoming missionaries over a decade ago, we have lived on the Daily Bread of God’s supernatural provision for overseas workers. We have asked for much. We have been given SO much. We have given much away. God meets every need. That is the way it works in God’s economy. Money comes in as a blessing and goes out as a blessing. We keep open palms instead of fists so that the funds can flow. Now THAT is grace.

So, no, tonight I don’t know how contacts will respond to our year-end giving requests. I don’t know if we’ll make up the deficit from the annual supporters who stop giving to us. I don’t know if we’ll raise 2018 funds for a big monthly humanitarian and evangelism push near the front lines of fighting in Eastern Ukraine, where no Christian is investing in youth in a city of 170,000. I don’t know if JV will find the remaining funding for its Event Center that will be so precious to the 350+ of us in Josiah Venture, as well as to all the believers in this region of the world who gather there. I don’t know if it is “go time” for our own local organization to also purchase office space, and from where the funds for that will appear. I don’t know if my friends, who happen to also be our newer staff members, will reach their 2017 goals to be fully funded at $1400/month. Those are HUGE faith goals for these modest families. I don’t know when the right time is to commit to one or two more Compassion children so that Marissa and Dylan can get in the spirit of caring about others. (Is there ever a “good time”?) I don’t know if it is better to donate to an org air-dropping Bibles into the world’s most hostile-to-Christian nations where the Word is forbidden unto death, or to an org smuggling printing presses into Allah-loving countries so that the True Word can go forth boldly. I don’t know which JV National Workers need the most financial help. I just know one thing: I want to be on God’s agenda.

THERE ARE SO MANY NEEDS! Yet isn’t it all grace?! And isn’t our God the only god ALMIGHTY enough to break into these financial questions and lead the way? This holiday season, as we officially started listening to carols and kicked off movie nights with Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch” and Veggie Tales’ “The Star”, may I hold on so loosely to the funds themselves, remembering that it is God’s grace. And may I meet Him and His grace directly in it all.

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